Meet Featured Member Steph Calvert

steph-calvert-by-natalie-moser-photography-2-square-350One of the things I love most about TypeA Parent conferences is the warm and welcoming attitude of the organizers, speakers and other attendees. Steph Calvert is no exception. She was the friendly face I sat down next to during a hands-on workshop about creating a media kit. Lucky for me, Steph’s a talented graphic designer! Instead of taking notes, she was writing and designing her kit during the workshop as the speaker covered each step. It was fascinating to watch her work and see what she could accomplish in a two-hour session that left me with nothing but a notebook full of tasks that it took me months to decipher and execute after returning home. 

Meet Featured Member Steph Calvert 

Business Name: Hearts and Laserbeams

Business Description: We work with small businesses looking to take their web design, graphic design, and illustration projects to the next level.

Steph’s Story:  Hearts and Laserbeams has been around since late 2006. It started as an indie crafting venture on Etsy, a side project outside my full-time graphic design work where I could create funny, light-hearted one of a kind art pieces. My husband and I sold my crafts at a variety of shows across southern California, from Felt Club and Bazaar Bizarre to Unique LA and Patchwork.

Design for my own clients has always been a part of the business, but in the beginning it took a back burner. I saw Hearts and Laserbeams as a creative outlet outside of work.

In 2010, everything changed. My husband and I found out we were expecting our son, Phil. I was working full time as a t-shirt graphic designer & illustrator in downtown Los Angeles. As someone who had a vast amount of design experience, I was able to negotiate a 100% telecommuting setup to eliminate the long train commute from Long Beach to downtown LA. The setup began months before I went on maternity leave. My art director loved my work; my designs were getting the company sales at stores like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters. Life was good. No. Life was *great*.

I went on maternity leave and came back to a position that was vastly different from the one I left behind. I returned to a new art director who hated my telecommuting status, no matter how well it worked. She made it extremely clear how much she disliked me because of it from the second I started working for her.  Working for this new unprofessional art director was a horrible fit. The stress it put on me and my family… with a newborn… I couldn’t stay there and I knew it. Something had to change immediately. [Read more...]

She Builds a Business Home Study: My Free Gift!

HomeStudyGraphicYou may not even realize this, but last year we held a live event for Christian mom entrepreneurs to learn, connect and grow. It was called She Builds a Business and it was held at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. We spent two days together exploring the Five Foundations for Flourishing in Business:

  • Building Clarity
  • Building a Brand
  • Building Your Bottom Line
  • Building Your Team and Tools
  • Building Your Courage and Confidence

If you missed it, you’ll be glad to know we recorded the entire conference on video. And, what’s even better, is that I’d like to share those videos with you as my free gift to celebrate the anniversary of my becoming a ‘mompreneur!’  You see, when my oldest son was born 14 years ago, I went from entrepreneur to mompreneur overnight. EVERYTHING changed. For the BETTER! So I think that’s worth celebrating, don’t you?

The She Builds a Business Home Study Course is my free gift to you – now through June 7, 2014 at midnight Eastern. It’s packed with 5 hours of video training and templates and worksheets for you to build your Five Foundations this summer in the comfort of your own home. You’ll get all the training and tools – without the expense and hassle of the travel!

But you have to enroll in the Home Study Course before June 7, 2014 at midnight Eastern to take advantage of this free offer. So, click here to get started today

Not sure it’s right for you? Watch this video to see how your fellow Christian mompreneurs felt after attending She Builds a Business: 

 

If You Treasure It, Then Measure It: Five Simple Ways to Track Your Business Success

Treasure It Measure ItWhat do dieticians encourage people to do when they want to improve their nutrition? Write down everything they eat. What do personal trainers ask people to do when they want to improve their fitness? Keep an exercise log. What do financial advisors tell people to do when they want to improve their money management skills? Create a written budget. No matter what you want to improve, the first step is to identify your current position so you can measure your progress.

The same concept holds true in business. You can’t grow your business if you don’t really have an understanding of where you are now. And you can’t maintain momentum if the only time you ever look at your stats is when someone asks you about them. So I tell the mompreneurs I work with “If you treasure it, then measure it.”

As a marketer, I’m a bit of a data geek, but some of this doesn’t come naturally to me so I have to remind myself of the value of monitoring the numbers. While this may not be the fun part of owning a business, it’s an important one.  Here are some simple tools to get you started:

1. Website Traffic. The best tool for most small businesses to measure website traffic is Google Analytics. It’s free, easy to install and packed with valuable insight. The only problem I have with Google Analytics is that I can easily fall down the rabbit hole and spend way too much time exploring and researching data I don’t need. I’m no expert so I’m sure there’s a lot that I’m missing, but the data I find valuable to monitor in Google Analytics includes:

  • Unique Monthly Visitors – how many people visit my site?
  • Page Views – how many of my pages are people visiting?
  • Average Visit Duration – how long are readers spending on my site?
  • Referrals – where is my traffic coming from?
  • Keywords – what words are people using when they search for my site?

I also take a look at demographic information such as age, gender and country; the use of mobile devices; and the most popular pages.  I don’t necessarily track those categories every month but I know how to find the information when I need it. You can also use Google Analytics to track your conversion rate and determine how successful a specific page is. 

2. Subscriber List Building. If you’re building a business or ministry then you are probably communicating with your clients, customers, readers, listeners, members, patients, students, fans, donors, etc. in some way.  If you’re using an email marketing solution such as Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, Direct Pay or one of the many other platforms, you should have a wealth of insight available to you. I typically monitor the following: [Read more...]